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The Perception of Age and Aging in the United States Essay

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According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word elderly means “rather old; being past middle age; characteristics of later life.” When an individual is categorized as being old, they feel insulted and may immediately become defensive, this is due to the fact that society has played a major role in the way we interpret the word “elderly”. Some individuals use the known phrase “You are as old as you feel”, as they are quite comfortable with themselves and nothing anyone says would sway the way they feel. The truth is, every day after a person’s birth, they are older, and so saying that someone is old should not be taken in the wrong perspective, but seen as a blessing of long life.
As individuals we are all guilty of planning for our retirement, yet some of us look at individuals who are in retirement in a negative way. In this essay, I would strive to look at factors which may have triggered negative perceptions and discernment and how it ties in to the term ageism and the effects it has on elders. The essay would also explore the theories modernization and egalitarian and will also look at ways in which the society can change their perception of the elderly.
Growing up as a child, I distinctly remember that the elderly individuals in your area or in any area were treated with utmost respect. They were held in high esteem, and their views and advice were cherished. The elderly were individuals that you would go to when you were not feeling well, or when you needed someone to look after your kids. You would never dare pass them in the street and not say “good morning, good evening or good night.” If a person passing time on the road was using explicit language, they would instantaneously stop and express r...


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...for them. In conclusion perception of the elderly are attributed to the way society view them, so let us as a society change the perception and maybe some of the morals and values of our land would return thus decreasing the amount of negative occurrence within our country.





References

Definition of an older or elderly person. (n.d.). WHO. Retrieved April 5, 2014, from http://www.who.int/healthinfo/survey/ageingdefnolder/en/
Street, D. (2002, January 1). Status of Older People: Modernization. Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved April 7, 2014, from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3402200387.html
What is ageism?. (n.d.). Age UK. Retrieved April 7, 2014, from http://www.ageuk.org.uk/work-and-learning/discrimination-and-rights/what-is-ageism/
elderly. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elderly



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